Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Object of the Day: The Boxwood Bust, 1380-1400

The Victoria & Albert Museum

From the Victoria & Albert Museum, we see a boxwood bust of a female figure with elaborate coiffure. She wears a gilt copper crown set with three red garnets (two of them faceted and one cabochon, the faceted stones are not original) and topped with five naturalistic leaf crests. The bust is displayed on a base which is also of gilt copper, supported by three seated lions . The base is set with two amethysts (originally three), which are also faceted, and therefore, are also replacements. The base contains a small cavity for a relic which would have been associated with the martyred virgin saint—whoever she was—who is depicted here. 

Boxwood figures like this one were popular from the 1350s onwards and have a sculptor to showcase his talents in a rare material which would have appealed to his wealthy patrons.

No comments: